Copyright © 2000 by William Mistele. All rights reserved.
As a life-long student of the spiritual universe, I have found it necessary to develop a realistic and practical map of everything human beings can feel, think, believe, and use their wills to accomplish. Of course, this is not easy to do and the idea is not at all new. Many individuals have already developed elaborate systems of interpretations, symbols, and insights that answer the questions, “What is it to be a human being? What is it to be alive? What are we able to do, feel, and accomplish here on earth?”
Unlike investigations carried out prior to the 1960’s, I have had the opportunity to study with masters from the different world religions as such as Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity as well as from some American Indian tribes such as the Hopi. My attempt is not to compare religions. My interest is spiritual anthropology--extracting from different traditions those unique insights and special abilities which can be used to benefit all of mankind. Everyone will of course have their own ideas and experiences when they think about the meaning of their own lives and their purpose here on earth.
Early in my magical and spiritual training, I would go out and meditate for six hours at a time in the desert around Tucson, Arizona. I would correlate the divine imagery within the Quabbalah with things I had actually seen and experienced in terms of human behavior, and I compared the energies in human beings with the auras of spiritual beings. Like a field anthropologist, I would take detailed notes, check and recheck my observations, and then return again and again until I felt my descriptions were concise, accurate, and comprehensive.
My first introduction to the Quabbalah came from reading Gareth Knight’s work, A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism. I found Knight’s work to be extremely helpful in developing an integration of modern psychology, empirical observation, and traditional Quabbalistic symbols.
The Czech magician, Franz Bardon, emphasizes in his work, The Key to the True Quabbalah, that the student of wisdom should meditate on the meaning of the numbers 1 through 10. Though Bardon describes the symbolic meaning of these numbers briefly, it is clear that he is also referring to the traditional 10 sephiroth of the Quabbalah. Bardon says, “The numbers 1-10 are quabbalistic cardinal numbers corresponding to the original divine ideas by which the visible and invisible world was created.”
Because of the nature of their subject matter, Knight and Bardon present very complex ideas and technical methods. My goal in this book is not to present another esoteric system. I am writing straight psychology--yet this is a psychology that explores the full depth and spectrum of our inner soul as well as our outer world experience. In this effort, I have sought to avoid as much as possible the use of occult terminology or religious language.
Once again, I owe a debt of gratitude to both Knight and Bardon. I would also like to thank the many individuals who have worked with me over the previous two and one-half decades as psychic partners. Together we have entered and explored the various elemental and spiritual domains of the earth as well as the spiritual realms surrounding the other planets in this solar system.
This book is a travel guide to life. Often we focus on our careers and limit ourselves to familiar routines. We are so busy that we do not realize what may be missing from our lives. There are treasures to be found if we only take the time to look for them. This book maps out the great treasures of life which are available to us and answers the question, How do we live life to the fullest?
To answer this question and as a guide toward discovering the great treasures of life, I present the first five of eleven domains of life experience. Each domain has its own purposes, treasures, and obstacles. Each has its own unique emphasis. And each is inexhaustible--we can explore any one of them for an entire lifetime.
A weak area in modern knowledge is our understanding of feelings. We do not fully understand their power and purposes. Feelings give us our greatest capacity to respond to situations, to connect to others, and to be alive. They empower us to appreciate and interact with the world around us.
To assist in exploring the world of feelings, I draw upon the idea of dreamtime. Dreamtime is a way of perceiving which I have adopted from the aborigines who have lived in Australia for 50,000 years. According to this understanding, there is an inner psychic world of wisdom and experience which is alive within us and which sustains us. This approach will prove helpful since each of the domains described in this book charts a particular region in the vast landscape of dreamtime.
We are already familiar with the experience of entering dreamtime. We experience this when we awaken from a dream and find ourselves still absorbed in a world of sparkling images. Compared to this brief experience, dreamtime is constant. It does not fade away. It is readily available if we understand how to access it.
As with feelings, there are personal, transpersonal, and planetary levels to dreamtime.1 In the exercises in each domain, I offer some suggestions for moving freely between the personal and transpersonal levels of our awareness.
In addition to the feeling level in each domain, I discuss the physical level which deals with our behavior and primal instincts. Also I present the mental and spiritual levels of awareness in each domain and the problems unique to that domain. We are familiar with some of these problems from Western psychology.
However, to do justice to the obstacles we may encounter in some cases, I present new material. These previously unnamed or forgotten obstacles may confront us in our dreams, in dreamtime, or in our everyday lives.
Let us briefly consider the treasures, powers, and purposes each of the first five domains hold in store for us. In the Physical World Domain, we acquire the material resources necessary for survival, and we work with the abundance of the physical world. However, there is much more here, for the struggle to survive is not just a physical endeavor. It involves us in emotional, mental, and spiritual struggles, too. Therefore, the basic instinct in this domain gives us the will to find the essential in life--to find what we need in order to be ourselves. In part, this is done through sensing what our deepest needs have to tell us about what we wish to accomplish and how we may become whole.
At the same time, in order to appreciate and respond fully to the physical world, we need something besides hard work and coping skills. We need a feeling of well-being, where we feel we are a part of the flow of life. Although we may encounter many obstacles and horrors in life, we may also discover great beauty and wonder.
Enriched by a sense of connection to nature and to dreamtime, we are able to accept all that life brings, the joy and suffering, the love and pain. Those who find this treasure have an aura about them which spontaneously dissolves anxiety and insecurity. Not only that, they are just as bright and refreshing in the midst of failure as they are in the midst of success. The Earth herself supports their emotional life.
After the Physical World Domain we explore the Happiness Domain. Here we work with the cauldron which shapes and expresses our personal desires and instincts--namely, the family. This is not only our family of origin but also the family we create later in life and all the relationships which have the warmth and familiarity of a family.
Just as the physical world is able to hurl us back into survival situations, the family has its dangers and challenges as well. These are the family secrets, the unmentioned abuses and dark impulses, we inherit and which remain with us as unfinished business from our childhood. Though we tend to forget about our developmental issues when we grow up, they can be powerful enough to haunt us for a lifetime. If we underestimate their importance, they become invisible bottlenecks which prevent us from fully experiencing contentment, happiness, and serenity.
At the same time, the basic instinct in the Happiness Domain gives us a power to renew ourselves. We have within us an artesian well of energy--a virtual river of life flowing through us. We can access this life by becoming relaxed and centered, and by learning to let go.
As we do this, our biological energies and gut-level emotions transform into vitality, sensuality, and affection. As we become more calm and intuitive, we develop an inner expansiveness and a sensitivity to the subtle currents of energy moving within us.
We also learn to perceive how our personal lives interact with dreamtime. We sense directly the inner flow of our life and understand how it is unfolding according to its own nature and in its own time. This realization invests us with the power to accept all the divergent instincts within us.
There are many treasures within this domain. An essential one is feeling totally loved and supported. To attain this treasure, we must often survive encounters with the guilt, denial, and self-rejection hidden within our shadow.
This is, however, a journey worth making, for this treasure gives us an immense independence and an astonishing ease in relating to others. For example, with it we have the ability to embrace others with love and kindness, to receive them completely into ourselves, and yet equally to rejoice in their expressions of independence and freedom.
In the Truth/Communication Domain, we learn the skills which allow us to live productive lives. The first skill we need to acquire is the ability to communicate ourselves clearly and effectively to others. To do this, we learn to be assertive, to give and take in a fair manner, and to search for the truth.
An aspect of giving and receiving in a fair manner is using feedback. For ourselves, this involves continually testing our ideas, assumptions, and conclusions and also maintaining a critical, questioning outlook. This often involves establishing clear, personal boundaries. Even in confusing situations, we are able to articulate our point of view and our feelings on the issue at hand.
Underlying all activity in this domain is a primal drive: the desire both to differentiate ourselves from others and to fully engage them. This drive leads us to connect to others and to appreciate their feelings and points of view, even when they differ from our own. Consequently, we make an effort to see others objectively and to meet them where they are. We are assisted in this by communicating ourselves in a way which is direct and persuasive while remaining fully attentive to the immediate situation.
One treasure of dreamtime in this domain is familiar to all of us--a feeling of adventure and discovery. We can often revive this feeling when we recall our first experiences with an activity--experiences which we found to be thrilling and refreshing at the time. The spirit of adventure is essential to exploring any branch of human knowledge, and it insures that we are fully alert and observant of the world around us.
As we proceed further in dreamtime, we feel strangely protected, as if we were again living in a time when things are innocent and full of promise. This springtime feeling of things being new creates an aura of youthful enthusiasm and vigor around us.
There is magic in this air of springtime--that is, we are fortunate. There is synergy in our experience, spontaneous events which assist in unfolding our lives. We make the right connections and discover new ways of fulfilling our destiny. We know when we have found our way into this level of dreamtime because we feel fully alive in each moment and our interactions with others are scintillating and full of pleasure.
The Personal Love Domain is the most mysterious of all eleven domains. In this book I give special attention to personal love because this area is in many ways the most crucial and difficult of all the domains with which to work. It is the area we know the least about.
To do justice to the nature of personal love without blindly reducing it to the purposes of some other domain, I describe what I call magnetic love. This form of personal love is the unique energy lovers create. Though it touches us as individuals, some might also call magnetic love an archetype--it is an energy pattern which has power quite independent of mankind. It exists within the dreamtime of the planet Earth, and it offers us vast treasures which are still to be discovered.
Many who purport to describe love between two individuals have briefly experienced part of this love, but then they flee from it in terror--it has given them unacceptable feelings, led them to do crazy things, and made them into fools. Consequently, looking back, they minimize their own experiences. In their books, they go to absurd lengths to twist and define love so that they can turn it into something safe and reasonable.
Love is rarely safe or reasonable, for by its very nature it leads us into the unknown and beyond. On the other hand, there is much room for caution in working with love. Just as its treasures are immense, so are its obstacles also great. The feelings it generates are so precious that people literally kill to possess them. We are never as alive as when we are touched by true love. Little wonder many attempt to deny its existence and its pain, for love can tear us to pieces.
Love is also a mirror which amplifies our feelings and magnifies our perceptions. Because of this, we are easily enchanted and wounded when it immerses us in illusory reflections of our secret dreams. Though this domain offers us the opportunity to overcome the loneliness and isolation haunting mankind, it also leads us to confront the darkest reaches of our souls. We need special courage and all the wisdom we can find in order to open ourselves so that we can become totally one with another human being.
The instinct operating in this domain empowers two lovers to create an inner, psychic space in which they can meet, share their innermost being, and become one. Those who are willing to suspend their personal boundaries and persist in pursuing such intimacy gain a marvelous transparency.
Just as lovers encompass opposites in their awareness, so do they also open themselves to sense and respond to every need, desire, and memory within their psyches. Whether we choose to enter this domain or not, let us not close our eyes to the mystery which lovers enact and celebrate. Through love, they are granted the power to take even the darkest life force and shape it into expressions of harmony and beauty. As they do so, they reflect in their love the original purposes of life.
In the Personal Love Domain, love asks us to risk pain and sorrow so that, in return, we may share in its ecstasies and mysteries. In the Heart Domain, our hearts ask that we learn to put aside our personal interests. In return, the Heart Domain’s greater vitality transforms and illuminates our lives.
Personal love works with the attraction of opposites. It unites masculine and feminine energies. Similarly, the heart also works with opposites. However, in the heart we meet a stillness which not only encompasses the various paths and oppositions we find in life but also guides and enfolds them in an all-embracing love.
In the sphere of magnetic love, we find an empathy so sensitive and committed that it brings us healing and completion. It enables us to join our deepest desires together so that they are expressed with harmony and beauty. In the heart, we fuse all desires, knowledge, and wisdom. By analogy to the process of fusion in the sun, the heart continually creates itself anew, moment by moment.
The basic instinct in the heart compels us to encounter the sacred. The sacred is nothing other than those collective sources of inspiration which animate and attempt to fulfill the life of whole communities and societies. Should we persevere in these encounters and enter dreamtime, we will find one of life's greatest treasures. This is the personal realization that everything beautiful, delightful, and fulfilling in life arises from one source and this source is shining from the center of our heart.
Contact with such a source of inspiration strengthens our integrity and dignity. It grants us greater ingenuity and a vast freedom. It enables us to look for the good in every person and to strive for harmony in every situation. With this light, we find our best courses of action in life. We may even feel so full of life and radiance that we overflow with compassion and tenderness toward others. At the same time, this inspiration is not something distant or unfamiliar, for we feel its warmth in our hearts when we discover those few friends who last us for a lifetime.
There are, however, profound obstacles blocking our entrance into this domain. One main obstruction is a kind of knot which blocks our energy from entering our heart. This knot is has various names. In some cultures it is called the Vishnu Granthi. In effect, whenever we seek to live on a higher level or with genuine inspiration and altruism, this knot in our heart tricks us. It distracts and entraps us so that we end up expressing only the narrow and, at times, selfish interests of our family, group, religion, or culture.
Even when we are committed to an ideal, our commitment becomes shackled by dark desires. To work through this problem, I will discuss attaining critical mass in our hearts. If we accomplish this task, we will learn to see with the original insight and the flaming life which arises from having a self-generating source of inspiration within us. With stronger inspiration we are able to overcome all prejudice and become true agents of compassion, bringing beauty to whatever we touch.
There are six other domains of life experience which deal with our work in life and the realms of spirit. These first five, however, are the ones we are most likely to encounter on a daily basis. When we learn to feel at ease with them, we will have come a long way toward discovering many of life's best treasures.